April 26, 2008
NATCHITOCHES, LA. - -
Looking to change momentum after dropping the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against Northwestern State, the UT Arlington baseball team wasted no time in getting it done.
The Mavericks opened the second game with three consecutive hits - two doubles - and went on to pound out five hits in the inning for a four-run lead. UTA starter Nathan Long then struck out the side in the first to help set the tone, and the Maverick went on to win, 18-3, and avoid the Southland Conference series sweep at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches, La.
UTA already had an 11-1 lead in the sixth when Chad Comer hit his second homer of the day, a three-run shot to left. Comer went 4-for-5 with a double, a homer, two runs scored and seven RBI in the nightcap. The Mavs lost the first game of Saturday's twinbill, 9-5.
The visiting Mavericks (20-23, 11-10 in the SLC) needed Game 3 of the Northwestern State series, having lost three consecutive games dating back to the final game of the Southeastern Louisiana series. When Matt Otteman and Michael Choice hit back-to-back doubles after David McLeod started the first inning with a hit, the Mavericks offensive fortunes started to change in a big way. Jeff Storms doubled in that first inning, and Comer also collected a hit.
UTA had four more hits in the third off Northwestern State starter Clayton Cooper (5-1), ending his day early with one out and the bases loaded in the second. Nine of UTA's first 17 at-bats went for hits, and the Mavericks had an 9-1 lead by the end of the third.
Mavericks starter Nathan Long (4-3) turned in a solid outing, battling out of jams against the Demons (23-19, 14-6) in the third and fourth to earn his first victory since March 7. Long went six innngs before being relieved by Adam Boydston in the seven-inning contest shortened because of the 10-run rule.
Northwestern came out swinging early in the first game, much like the Mavericks in the nightcap. Three of the first four Demon batters got hits - including a double by No. 2 hitter Jordan Nipp. By the time the inning was over, UTA had a three-run deficit. Another run in the second put the Mavericks down, 4-0.
From there, Mavericks starter Andy Sauter settled down nicely and kept the Mavericks in game until the offense could put something on the board. That happened in the fifth inning when Jay Pitschka hit a two-out single up the middle and David McLeod followed with a single to right-center. Matt Otteman followed with a hard shot to center, which bounced just out of the centerfielder's reach and rolled to the wall. Otteman had a triple, and UTA had cut the lead in half, 4-2.
UTA's offense showed even more power in the following inning when Andrew Kainer and Chad Comer each hit solo homers to make it 4-4 in the sixth. The Mavericks were back in the game, but not for long. Northwestern State knocked Sauter from the game with two runs in the seventh. The Demons provided some cushion with three more in the eighth.
Sauter (4-2) took the loss for the Mavericks. J.C. Bredengerd (2-0) got the win in relief for Northwestern State, and Kyle Broughton (3) earned his third save.